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Alumni

Finley Jones '21

Class Year

2021

Area(s) of Study

Double Majored in Music and Spanish

Hometown

Oak Park, IL

Co-curricular

Student Programming Board President, Vice President of Finance for Tri Delta, WXMX Executive Board

Current Job

Currently I am a Development Intern at the Ravinia Festival focusing on the Ravinia Steans Music Institute (although I used to be a Director of Marketing for a Company in Chicago)

What skills did you work on while at Lake Forest that have helped you be successful today?

While at Lake Forest I learned it is not crazy to follow your passion. As a freshman I was set on Majoring in International Affairs or Business...then noticed all of my extracurriculars were music based. The LFC Music Department opened my eyes to the world of music business, arts administration, and development.

What college courses have helped you out the most during your career? Why?

My music classes helped me a lot in predictable ways, while my spanish classes have helped out in ways I didn't expect. I have made a lot of lasting connections in the professional world due to my being able to speak spanish.

What experiences at Lake Forest have you had that you think have been invaluable to your career?

My extracurricular experiences at Lake Forest have been invaluable to my career now. Clubs and Organizations work so closely together on campus it was so easy to learn about the endeavors of others, both on an individual and organizational level. Learning to work with people you have nothing in-common with towards a mutual goal was invaluable.

How do you think Lake Forest prepared you for the career you have today?

The faculty at Lake Forest taught me to 'just ask.' Being encouraged to ask my Professors, employers, and LFC administration questions taught me to ask my future employers for more opportunities, responsibility, and challenges. This new skill took me a lot of really exciting and fun places such as a Social Media Manager for a few small Chicago businesses, a bartender at a premier restaurant on Navy Pier, a Director of Marketing for a fastly growing company, and more.

What is the one of the things you are most proud of professionally?

In my professional career I am most proud of knowing when it's not a good fit - not very glamorous. I am proud of asking for more or less in a position. This lead to me implementing a marketing strategy that garnered thousands of followers in just a few months and watching how that positively impacted a company's growth even during the challenges of a pandemic..

What was one of your most meaningful experiences at LFC? and why?

Finishing up school during the pandemic was incredibly meaningful. I went abroad in January 2020 and was on track to graduate early. It panned out that my last time on campus was December 2019 and I returned to walk with my class in May 2021, 1.5 years later. While that was a hard time, a time we all continue to navigate, I still had my LFC community. I did not return a stranger by any means. It was incredibly meaningful to have that continued sense of LFC community, even after The Forest was virtual for a little while.

When you look back on your time at Lake Forest, what is one of the best lessons you learned that you've carried with you?

I learned to fail without fear. If I hadn't failed my freshman year Theories of International Relations class, I would not have walked away with two degrees four years later.

How did your time at Lake Forest help shape you as the individual you are today?

I found that my time at Lake Forest shaped me in many many many ways, but what really stands out is how persistent, ambitious, and durable I am now. I graduated from Lake Forest College a semester early with two BAs during a global pandemic. There's nothing I can't do with foresters by my side.

Who is the one person/student organization/mentor that impacted you the most? and how so?

Easy. Dr. Anne Barry and Jen O'Brien. Dr. Barry was my freshman year advisor and stuck with me through to graduation and I am thankful everyday that I had her first year studies class. Jen showed me how passion and skill could come together in a fulfilling career. I am forever inspired by those two women.

Why Lake Forest? 

Lake Forest provides students with the room, time, and guidance to answer that big question, "what's next?"

At what moment at Lake Forest did you realize, or were reassured, that you were meant to follow your current career path?

One time that stands out is when I was studying abroad in Puerto Rico. I was in a classroom very far from home, but because of my time at Lake Forest, I was right where I was supposed to be. I was able to converse in spanish about music, the two things I was studying at LFC and I couldn't wait to tell my professors and classmates when I got back to campus.